Women in European Culture and Society: A Sourcebook includes a range of transnational sources which encompass the history of women in Europe from the beginning of the eighteenth century right up to the present day. Including documents from across Europe, from France and Germany to Estonia, Spain and Russia, organized in a broad chronological spread, the diversity of the sources included in the book is unique – including many never translated into English before. Deborah Simonton offers detailed interpretive introductions that analyse and contextualize the sources.

A central feature is its exploration of how women operated within gendered worlds and used their skills and abilities to shape and claim their own identities and to engage with how they contributed as practitioners to shaping European culture and society. With over 200 sources, the book allows us to ‘hear’ women’s voices as they articulate their understandings of their worlds and helps capture a sense of women’s motivations, options and choices as they understood them - allowing readers to focus on either a period or a theme and providing a comparative resource.

Ideal for use on its own or as a companion volume to Simonton’s other major work, Women in European Culture and Society: Gender, Skill and Identity since 1700, this sourcebook is an invaluable collection offering vivid first-hand accounts of women’s lives.

chapter |10 pages


part I|96 pages

Rights of man and duties of woman

chapter 1|29 pages

Intimate worlds

Self, sex and family

chapter 2|25 pages

Community spaces

chapter 3|23 pages

Wider worlds

Gendering the Enlightenment

chapter |10 pages


The Revolutionary era

part II|94 pages

Domesticity and industrialism

chapter |6 pages


Legacy of the Enlightenment

chapter 4|25 pages

Intimate worlds

Self, sex and family

chapter 5|23 pages

Community spaces

chapter 6|22 pages

Shaping wider worlds

chapter |16 pages


La Belle Époque

part III|104 pages

Modern times

chapter |5 pages


Carrying Linda's stones

chapter 7|30 pages

Intimacy and independence

chapter 8|26 pages

The transitional community

chapter 9|41 pages

The wider stage